Shillong: The much-awaited meeting between the pressure groups in Meghalaya with the Union Home Minister Amit Shah turned into another disappointment for the groups.
This was the second time Shah met representatives of various groups, including the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisation (CoMSO), Federation of Khasi-Jaintia Garo People (FKJGP), Ri-Bhoi Youth Front (RBYF) and Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF), to name a few.
The pressure groups raised major issues including the long-pending issue of the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP). Several organisations have time and again been demanding the Central government to implement ILP after the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly unanimously passed the Resolution in December 2019.
Speaking with media persons, KSU president Lambok Marngar said they were not satisfied with the meeting. “We got a chance to express our demands to implement ILP, but, sadly, the Union Home Minister did not comment or give assurance about ILP. We don’t know what is the stand or opinion of the Central Govt on ILP,” mentioned Marngar.
He added that the various pressure groups will sit and chalk out their programs to continue to pressurise the Central govt to recognise the voice of the indigenous people.
FKJGP president Wellbert Rani also expressed disappointment and said that the Union Minister did not allow all the pressure groups to speak. “We were assured that we would get time to speak at least 20-30 minutes, but we weren’t given that. We came with high hopes since this was our third meeting. We came with high hopes that at least the union home minister will say something about this issue, but he left us disappointed,” added Rani.
CoMSO chairman Robertjune Kharjahrin said the Central government could have at least let them know what is their stand whether they will implement ILP in Meghalaya or not.
“The chief minister was also present in the meeting, and he had mentioned looking into it, but we wanted the HM to give us his opinion. The HM has let down the morale of the indigenous people of the state, but we are not losing hope. We will try to come back stronger than this, said Kharjahrin.
Asked what their next course of action was, Kharjahrin said that due to the pandemic he couldn’t say much but he was sure that they will continue their fight in the demand for ILP and it will be much stronger this time.
The CoMSO chairman has also claimed that the two prominent pressure groups KSU and CoMSO are already coming together to demand ILP.
Asked if this ILP was a political agenda, Kharjahrin said he wasn’t too sure, but he urged that their demand for ILP should not be politicised.
The Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (CoMSO) and other pressure groups in Meghalaya have been demanding implementation of ILP ever since the Congress-led government rejected the demand in 2013 and instead passed the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act (MRSSA) in 2016.
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